There are two reasons to hope that Obama and his handlers are lying when they say this policy shift was spontaneous. The first is that it would demonstrate skillful political calculation in a team that will sorely need it in the coming months. But the main reason is that it suggests the public is sufficiently supportive of gay marriage that Obama can afford to say he favors it—something that gay-marriage advocates have been claiming for awhile. It is this change of heart by the polity, and not Obama’s implicit acknowledgement of it, that is true cause for celebration.
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